1984 By George Orwell

1984 is about life in a world where no personal freedoms exist. Winston the main
character is a man of 39 whom is not extraordinary in either intelligence or
character, but is disgusted with the world he lives in. He works in the Ministry
of Truth, a place where history and the truth is rewritten to fit the party\'s
beliefs. Winston is aware of the untruths, because he makes them true. This
makes him very upset with the government of Oceania, where Big Brother, a larger
than life figure, controls the people. His dissatisfaction increases to a point
where he rebels against the government in small ways. Winston\'s first act of
rebellion is buying and writing in a diary. This act is known as a thought crime
and is punishable by death. A thought crime is any bad thought against the
government of Oceania. Winston commits many thought crimes and becomes paranoid
about being caught, which he knows is inevitable (Greenblast 113). He becomes
paranoid because a young woman who is actively involved in many community groups
follows him. Winston is obsessed with the past, a time before Oceania was under
strict dictatorship. He goes into an antique shop and buys a shell covered in
glass, which is another crime punishable by death. He sees the same woman
following him. Many thoughts race through his mind "I wanted to rape you
and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks ago I thought seriously of smashing
your head in with a cobblestone. If you really want to know, I imagined that you
had something to do with the Thought Police" (Orwell 101). The girl who was
following him slipped him a note while at work. The note said, "I love
you"(Orwell 90). They make plans to meet each other and carry on an illegal
love affair. This love affair is another rebellion against the government. It
goes on for some time. Winston rents a room where he and Julia can be secluded
from the outside world. They meet a man named O\'Brien who indicates that he is
another revolutionary. Winston and Julia go to his house to meet with him.

O\'Brien gives than a seditious book to read. Soon after that, they are caught by
the Thought Police and never see each other again. O\'Brien, becomes Winston\'s
rehabilitator and torturer for the next 9 months. O\'Brien tortures Winston in
stages. The first two stages are to force the party\'s beliefs on him then learn
and understand what is expected of him. In the third stage, Winston is made to
face what he secretly fears most, rats eating his face. After being completely
rehabilitated by O\'Brien, Winston now loves the establishment and the
government. He is set free. Big Brother is the figurehead of a government that
has total control. The Big Brother regime uses propaganda and puts fear in its
citizens to keep the general population in line. "Big Brother is watching
you"(Orwell 5) is just one example of many party slogans that puts fear in
its citizens. Big Brother uses various ways to catch people guilty of bad
thoughts "In the world of 1984 the tyrant Big Brother does employ a vast
army of informers called thought police, who watch every citizen at all times
for the least signs of criminal deviation which may consist simply of unorthodox
thoughts"(Daley 112). Winston Smith represents Orwell\'s view on
totalitarianism. Winston rebels against the government of Oceania by starting a
diary and constantly having bad thoughts against the government. "Winston
knows that he is doomed from the moment he has his first heretical thought. The
tensions of the novel concerns how long he can stay alive and whether it is
possible for Winston to die without mentally betraying his rebellion" (Greenblast

115). Winston starts writing in a diary for two reasons. The first is that he
wants to be able to remember the daily occurrences in the world. In 1984, the
memory of individuals, is effectively manipulated, programmed, and controlled
from the outside by the party (Kolakowski 127). People don\'t know what they are
consciously remembering and what is told to them. "The party had invented
airplanes" (Orwell 127) is just one example of the party\'s propaganda and
false statements that change every day. The other reason for the diary is so
that people in the future will be able to read what went on during Winston\'s
time and to tell them about his daily reflections on his feelings about the
party. These are the same reasons why